Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Located at 176 Seagate ( the building no longer exists ), the Tayside Bar was a pub you may well have passed in the street without giving it a second glance. It was really an old man's pub, as basic and as spartan as they get. However, in the early '80's, Dundee's trendy youth hijacked it and used it as a live music venue. Most of the time it was a showcase for the "alternative" music scene...and on the nights there were no bands playing, there would often be a DJ - the Cranked Up Disco!. It was usually local bands who gigged there though - acts such as Altres, The Grip, AAGA, Waiter Waiter, Junkies, Scrotum Poles, The Blush etc etc...but as the venue became more known, acts from out of town would come in and perform too. There always seemed to be something going on there which is why it made it such a good place to have a drink. I remember Billy Mackenzie used to hang out there a lot.
The above photo shows the long narrow lounge area of the pub...where it all happened!!
One of the many acts I saw play there was AAGA, and I was in the crowd at one of their gigs they captured on film. Below is that very gig. Filmed in March 1984. AAGA live at the Tayside Bar with a track called "Back in the 60's".
Many thanks to Kevin, Mike, Brian and co from AAGA & Altres for the excellent footage and photo.
There are more Tayside Bar goodies to be found on the Altres website. Pictures of the band, mp3's and so on. Why not pay a visit to find out more. Here is the site link -
Meanwhile, enjoy the blast from the past, on the video below...



  1. Thanks so much for that.
    First time Iwalked into the Tayside Bar I thought I was so cool (I wasn't, but I felt it!).

    I remember it used to feature very regularly in a local fanzine thing called (maybe) Deadbeat ??? Can someone confirm.

  2. Was it Cranked Up? I remember Jock Longhorn used to do that and sold it for 20p in Groucho's and Rockpile. Remember the Junkies and the Beaver Sisters there too? 50p for a vody an coke.

  3. was definitely "Dead...." something

  4. You're BOTH right...there were 2 fanzines, Deadbeat and Cranked Up, that covered the Dundee music scene. Will be putting some items from them up over the coming months. GG

  5. Actually the instigators of Tayside Bar as a live venue was the band Street Level and the owner Brian? ex Ferranti's in Dunsinane Estate. We were the first band to play there and friends of ours used to live in the flats upstairs.Interesting changing rooms though bogs on the side of the stage.Trying to fit a 4piece band on that stage was like squeezing passengers into the trains in Tokyo.

  6. I remember going from that AAGA gig to Beez Kneez(!) to see some artsy band called Boo Hooray. I had a single by them called Hepcat Gloss. It was crap but they were OK live. The guitarist danced like a retarded David Byrne. Whatever happened to them?

  7. Oh, and who was the woman who used to go to all the gigs with plastic spoons or forks hanging from her lugs? She looked mental.

    1. Dek fae Birkie11 May 2017 at 00:05

      She lives in Muirhead

  8. I think her name was Hillary? I was just a bit too young to be a regular at the Tayside Bar - I did go to one of the last gigs there though - it was the Beaver Sisters I think. The AAGA footage is brilliant - featuring a fresh faced Mike Kane on guitar assisination!

  9. Holy poopsicles! My first gig was as a tender 17 year old on Dec 23rd 1983 in the band New Values. That piccie at the top os giving me flashbacks.

    I remember we started one song with a choreographed leap into the air and our singer mashed his head on the lowered bit of ceiling around the "stage". Good times!!!!

  10. Brian Sincliar was the owner of the Tayside Bar's son, he had a brother who ran the Bush Bar in the Seagate I think. Brian took over the running of the bar and started to book 'clubby' bands. Prior to Brian taking over they had 'SingAlongs' infact, if you remember, each alcove in the lounge had a mic input, a bit like Karaoke before Karaoke was invented! There was also a small bar in the lounge as well. That was soon got rid of so that more people could squeeze in! From memory, Street Level were a 'clubby' style band but played original music, I think. Then Brian was approached by a member of another (not a clubby) Dundee band that played original music and Brian agreed to let his band play and also to let him book bands on his behalf, thats when the likes of APB, 30 Bob Suits, All The Presidents Men, Alone Again Or, Hey! Elastica etc starting playing but in between all the good Dundee bands played. Tayside Bar R.I.P.

  11. Street Level were a wee bit cheesy, but classed themselves as punk/new wave, the female singer was Jackie McPherson AKA Jacki Bird "aff the telly" good voice, but nae tits tho ;-)~

  12. Then she went to Aberdeen and Danny Wilson wrote a song about her ! (i think) :)

  13. Ah thanks for that. I'm guessing the band member from Street Level that posted a comment was Murray Tosh who played bass. I occasionally did the sound and Dj'd a few times there. Apart from Jaqui (as she liked to be called then) the rest of the band were Calum McHardy and Bob Butler both of whom can be found in Abba Gold these days. I think the girl with the plastic forks might have been either Audrey or another wild dresser called Fiona. It was 1980 (I think) after all and there were some outrageous outfits. Its my recolection that Altered Images played there as well as (dont snigger) Marilion, although this might be a trick of the memory.
    It was a great place. As to Street Level being 'clubby' I think that was a bit harsh. Although not exactly cutting edge, their hearts where in the right place. The only cover version they played was Teenage Kicks, the rest was all their own. They were even voted band of the year by The Evening Telegraph's 'pop' journalist, who I think was Anne Crawford at the time. The fact that prior to this they had written a song and after not being able to write any lyrics, decided to name it after her had nothing to do with it at all.

  14. The first band to play was The Junkies actually......before that no band had played there before....I know as Al Hendrickx and I made the booking....

  15. The fanzine was indeed Cranked Up and Jock Ferguson ran it. He now runs Herald Events and has a career as a Sean Connery lookalike. I was in the Scrotum Poles who played there many a time and other Dundee bands who played there were: Waiter Waiter, Pulsebeat Plus, Synthetic Dreams, No Fixed Abode, Parades, Pigs are Cute and Alien Culture.

    Audrey was indeed the person with the crazy clothes.

    Jock Ferguson (Longhorn) was the regular dj there.

  16. Gerry Mitchell of Boo Hooray went on make experimental electronic music with Comwom
    (Collection of Men, Woman & Machines) & under several other guises as well as painting & exhibiting his work through the 90's.
    Mike Kane of Aaga, Flux went on to form "The Gerils"

  17. Aaga footage is tops!
    Mike looks about 12!
    Steve Grimmond looks exactly the same know as then!

  18. "Then she went to Aberdeen and Danny Wilson wrote a song about her ! (i think) :)

    Straight from the horse's mouth, I can tell you 'Aberdeen' is not about Jackie Bird.

  19. Why is everyone going on about Jackie Bird and music....the 2 together don't make sense!

    This is the Grampianess that keeps holding Dundee back!

  20. Is that VInce Piggot from the Junkies?

    If it is, I used to go to Uni wi' u :)

  21. Bring back the beaver sisters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jock n co made our weekends a reason for getting out n havin some real fun!!!!!!!!!!

  22. If that is Vincenzo fae the Junkies, I've got some pictures of you at the Tayside Bar.

    The girl with the spoon/fork earrings was Hilary, she was in my year at the Harris.

    And hello, bro.

  23. I saw Hilary at the Billy Mackenzie Tribute concert they had in London a couple of years ago, so she's still keeping in touch with Dundee's past. No kinky trinkets on display though! GG

  24. we really need a pic of Hillary now, come on guys someone must have one, she was a Dundee icon in those days, a night at a gig wasn't the same if her and her mate didn't turn up ! :)

  25. you are so right groove puppy :) just looked at a pic of the grip in the tayside bar, can see why your singer "battered" his head off the ceiling, christ it must have been claustraphobic in that place! more so if you were over 6 feet tall :-)

  26. Rachel from the Scrotum Poles !!
    I must have missed that !!

  27. me too !!!! :) so the beaver sisters were not the only dundee band cross dressing at that time !!!! :-)

  28. is that drew ramsey? god, these photos will be interesting

  29. Am doing a London Radio programme on 17 July and have been asked for any audio evidence of The Junkies.....does anybody out there have any....would be much appreciated!

  30. I have a Junkies three track tape somewhere.
    Original songs too!
    To the attic!

  31. Jock, vin here, if you come across the tapes let me know, i'm sure we can do something with them, what with technology nowadays, ps. for some class music checkout

  32. I still haven't found the three-track tape.
    It's here somewhere.
    There's also ones by Aaga and Waiter Waiter which HAVE tuned up and obviously I've got all the Beavers stuff.
    I did once send a copy of the Junkies tape to Buckingham Palace offering the act for garden parties.
    A nice reply came from a rear admiral thanking me for the 'enjoyable tape' but unfortunately he could not see any possible engagements for the Tayside Bar's finest.
    When the 'Tully' published the story, Al opened all the newspaper dispensers in town and took every copy out.
    I think he was trying to avoid being 'fund ooot' by Gellatly Street's Benefit Fraud Team.

  33. We had lots of great nights at the Tayside - I still have the ads from the Tele!!

    My memory is of trying to fit drums, combos, 4x12s and 5 guys onto the stage. I used to like the weird band where the singer sang a version of fever accompanying himself on the tambourine who were they?

    Blind Pew

  34. There was a band, Alien Culture with Brem on sax and Mo on vocals who did a version of 'Fever'.
    Last time I saw Mo, she was making hats for Utopia Costumes in Forfar.
    Your boys were good too.
    Guitarist could play a bit.

  35. Mike you are a twat. Rachel is me bird


  36. Hey Craig
    I assume you were logged in as Rachel, How were we supposed to know that!?
    it did say (from Rachel) "I was ..etc
    it did confuse me and steve recently
    may all your bees be summerbees !

  37. Brilliant seeing the Aaga clip here, I think I was at that gig. I seem to remember a drummer though. I think the last time I saw an Aaga gig was the Westport Bar upstairs, but I may be wrong.

    Thanks for making a happy man very old.

  38. Jock
    I have a copy of the Junkies Tape , what would you have me do with it !
    I think vince lives near me maybe he can MP3 it and email to the site and I can scan the cover ..advice needed

  39. What's Brem up to these days?

  40. Tayside Bar was the place to be. Some great night there, great bands who tried anything and everything. You had to take the crap with the quality though (bit like the John Peel show only more in yer face).

  41. new york dolls farewell christmas party. in May! canny mind the year though Vince played guitar. mine And I got the drinks in as usual, thanks. brian stingy c''t mad night

  42. Remember Aga doing "I walk the line" at the Tayside Bar, thought I'd died and gone to heaven

  43. My last post should read Aaga, instead of Aga, I realise that is a middle class cooker

  44. Aaga also did a brilliant version of "Its Not Unusual" with Mike singing. Come on all you stingy arses, at least all of the bands mentioned here TRIED...

  45. Hey, who said that was a shit video? I fucking filmed that. :D

    That was a great night and a great gig. Brilliant seeing Kevin there. Also, Mike was one of the most inventive musicians in Dundee for years and a hell of a pleasant chap. Why all the negativity?


  46. I agree with brian , except the part about me being a pleasant chap !

  47. Brilliant to read about the Tayside Bar after all these years! t was a hell of a squeeze, but great times! I played drums with the Swing Club, Martin Low, Forrest Rosscraig, Roberto Soave and myself. I have a demo tape somwhere if anyone is interested. Also a short spell with the Associates. We did a gig at Laings Hotel anyone remember it? Laings was an alternative location to the Tayside.
    Vince is that really you? I thought you were dead! Drop me a line.

  48. Hey Mr Parry.....great to hear your doing well....Peru looks nice.....nah, not dead...not even a cold....must be my genes....can be emailed at

  49. Bringa back so many memories to me
    The first band to play the Tayside Bar was on a Tuesday night and was
    Pulsebeat Plus
    The reason I know that this is Brian Sinclair still alive and kicking
    Hilary actually worked behind the bar for a time
    and spoke to her about 1 year ago in Tescos

  50. Hi Brian!
    I still have the Gordon's Gin gantry from the last night at the Tayside Bar, when the drinks were
    50p and we all danced on the bar :)

  51. Brilliant reading about the Tayside Bar.
    Is still have a few old issues of Cranked Up

    – Paul from Alien Culture.

    "Lovable no-hopers" – Jock thank-you for being so kind.

  52. The Tayside Bar was THEE place to be in the 80's , i just loved it. The loo's were really small & if you were in there with more than two other girls you were in danger of being knocked out with the hairspray fumes!!

    Yes i am Mo from Alien Culture, that sang 'Fever' & tried to play bass, eek! I think that was our first gig or was it at The Bread or Laing's?? the 80's is a bit of a blur for me.... too much vody!!

    Had the best of times tho & i remember when Jock wrote in Cranked Up (i think) someting about me being the first Goth in Dundee....used to wear plastic flies in my very back-combed hair & black all the time....claim to fame my loves :)

  53. just read 'Take it to the bridge' broght back so many memories of all the great people I met through the Tayside Bar and the music